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5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies
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5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  13 reviews
ASIN: 0312295170
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 1st 1984 by St Martins Pr (first published 1983)
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Smullyan is always a joy. A down-home, playful American version of Borgesian reflection.
Oct 09, 2013 Remy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Daoist Logicians
Due to the nature of its content, this book is much shorter than it seems. Regardless, it is quite good. There are a few puzzles and paradoxes in the miscellany, as one might expect from Smullyan, but most of the text is taken up by dialogues. An assortment of philosophers, epistemologists, moralists, theologians, ontologists, and such are invariably gathered around for whatever reason, and they quarrel over seemingly simple phenomena. I found this terribly amusing all throughout, but then philo ...more
Hank Horse
Short philosophical essays, really good stuff!

One thing I like about Smullyan is that though he’s a logician and enjoys playing with logic, he recognizes when it ceases to be a useful tool. In one of the best chapters in this book, The Zen of Life and Death, Smullyan considers many different approaches to death and the possibility of an afterlife. This paragraph is characteristic:

“What about the proposition, “Either I will continue existing, or I will cease to exist.” Do I believe that? My answ
Maurizio Codogno
Questo libro di Smullyan è un po' diverso dalla sua usuale produzione per così dire "ricreativa". Non abbiamo infatti, se non in minima parte, problemini logici: il grosso del testo consiste in dialoghi ("multiloghi"? i personaggi sono davvero tanti) filosofici, dove l'autore mostra come bisogna stare molto attenti a definire le cose perché altrimenti c'è sempre qualcuno che se la prende con noi e ci dimostra che abbiamo sbagliato tutto.

La mia sensazione (personale) è che però i dialoghi sono sì
Stephan Anstey
I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzles. This makes philosophy fun.
An interesting, jumbled-up collection of essays, dialogs, aphorisms, and puzzles. It approaches all sorts of philosophical questions from all different directions, so in the end you may be left scratching your head, wondering just what it is you've been reading this whole time. In that, it's a bit like how people often describe the experience of reading Hofstasdter's 'Gödel, Escher, Bach'. While this isn't nearly as ambitious or virtuousic as that, it's a fun book written in a likable, approacha ...more
Simplicus viene a ser una especie de arquetipo humano o en lo que me quisiera convertir, porque como quiero vivir en completo albedrío, sin temores a castigos sin esperanzas a premios, vivir en ética, que como Borges piensa, es a lo mejor la corroboración de que si el sistema de nuestras acciones, pueden ser buenas o malas, según su particular forma de ordenarse, un excelente libro...
Logic problems, rarely-used cliches, and short essays on time, identity, death, and so on, written with humor and an unusual point of view. This is the kind of philosophy book you can take to the beach, highly recommended.
Sep 05, 2007 Amir rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Philosophically-minded
You will find interesting philosophical musings in this book mixed with sci-fi fantasy and presented with humor.

This (together with another book by Smullyan) is, in my opinion, the best book that I have read in a decade...
Smullyan's like a Hofstadter who writes shorter stuff.
Part 4 ("To be or not to be?") is pretty stupid, but the rest contains some gems. I especially liked his proof of Goedel's Theorem.
Raymond Smullyan is my Logician Dumbledore. I own and read every book of his I can get my hands on. Which is well over a dozen.
philosophical will love this if you have some interest in philosophy..
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Raymond M. Smullyan is a logician, musician, Zen master, puzzle master, and writer.
More about Raymond M. Smullyan...
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“Recently, someone asked me if I believed in astrology. He seemed somewhat puzzled when I explained that the reason I don't is because I'm a Gemini.” 8 likes
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